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Gilford man waives arraingment on charges he displayed disorderly conduct at school board meeting; Sisti to defend

LACONIA — Three misdemeanor B complaints for disorderly conduct have been filed against William Baer, the parent of a ninth grade student who objected to the Gilford School District making "Nineteen Minutes" a book by N.H. author Jodi Picoult mandatory reading.

Each of the three complaints obtained from the 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division offers a different theory of Baer's alleged misconduct.

The first charges he purposely caused a breach of the peace by disrupting a Gilford School Board meeting after "having been asked to desist by School Board Chair Sue Allen."

The second states that Baer "refused to comply with a lawful order of a peace officer, to-wit James Leach" to move from a public place while a third version states that he "purposely caused a breach of the peace by disrupting" the school board meeting after being asked to desist by Allen.

Baer verbally interrupted another resident who was speaking at the Gilford School Board meeting on May 5.

According to two separate videos of the meeting, both posted online, Baer had already spoken to the board at the time of the incident, trying to get them to read aloud the waiver form regarding the book and it's possible disturbing content that had been sent to parents.

Allen refused to read the waiver and continually reminded Baer that he had a total of two minutes to make any comments he wished.

Seemingly frustrated, Baer returns to his seat.

A different parent — the mother of a ninth grade boy — then said she was appalled by the book and the lack of information about its content sent home to parents.

Speaking next, from a standing position in front of his seat, Joe Wernig agreed that the School Board and the administration may have made a mistake about the notification but then took the position that people like Baer and the woman who spoke after him would be dictating what books the School District could teach.

While Wernig was talking, Baer loudly commented from his seat that Wernig's assertion was "absurd". Over the verbal protestations of Allen, who keep saying "please sir, please sir," Baer continued to talk.

One view shows Superintendent Ken Hemingway throwing his hands up in a brief motion of frustration and then motioning with one hand toward the direction where Lt. Leach was standing off to the side.

After a few seconds, Leach came over to where Baer was seated and Baer said to the board, "Why don't you have me arrested, that's a real civics lesson."

While, Allen attempted to recognize the next person who wanted to speak, Leach asked Baer to leave the room a few times before grabbing his hand and leading him out his seat, which was in the middle of second to last row in the Gilford Elementary School Library. Leach escoreted Baer out of the room and handcuffed him with his hands behind his back in the hallway. A video shows Leach leading Baer to his cruiser and then removing the cuffs and recuffing him with his hands in the front after Baer told him he had a pinched nerve in his neck.

Baer has retained attorney Mark Sisti to represent him and has an arraignment day of June 17.

"We very much look forward to litigating this matter," Sisti said yesterday. "We have waived arraignment and entered not guilty pleas to all three complaints."

Last Updated on Friday, 06 June 2014 01:02

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Rose Marie Young awarded Gilmanton's Post Cane

GILMANTON — Selectmen presented Rose Marie Young , 96, with the township's Boston Post Cane in a ceremony attended by about 40 people at Town Hall Wednesday afternoon.
Young, who will turn 97 on October 14, is a former school board member who was also at one time the assistant postal officer in Gilmanton Iron Works.
The cane is presented to the oldest person in town and is a tradition in many New England communities, dating back to 1909.
Asked about the secret of her longevity, Young quipped ''I don't think I had much to do with it. It just happened.''
She is still active in the Gilmanton Community Church, the Women's Fellowship and the Post 102 American Legion Auxiliary.
Young was born in New York and moved to Gilmanton Iron Works with her husband, Morton, in 1951. The home which was owned by family members Eben and Cora Young and was operated as a bed and breakfast.
The couple had two sons, Morton, who lives with his partner Sue Bowne, and Don, who lives with his wife Rachel, and have three children, Christie, Brett and Chelsea. Additionally she has four great grandchildren.
Young also worked as a trust officer with the First National Bank of Boston.
The previous holder of Gilmanton's Boston Post Cane, James Pennock, passed away in February at the age of 99. He had been presented with the cane in 2008.
The Boston Post Cane tradition was started by the Post as a publicity stunt under the ownership of Edwin A. Grozier in 1909. The newspaper had several hundred ornate, gold-tipped canes made and contacted the selectmen in New England's largest towns. The Boston Post Canes were given to the selectmen and presented in a ceremony to the town's oldest living man. The custom was expanded to include a community's oldest women in 1930.
The Boston Post was the most popular daily newspaper in New England for over a hundred years before it folded in 1956. In the 1930s the Boston Post had grown to be one of the largest newspapers in the country, with a circulation of well over a million readers.

CAPTION: pix slugged post cane 1,2

Rose Marie Young, 96, examines the Boston Post Cane by Gilmanton Selectmen Wednesday afternoon. (Roger Amsden/for The Laconia Daily Sun)

Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 June 2014 11:31

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Woman arrested for DWI said to have tried to hide her past by pretending to be her sister

LACONIA — A Framingham, Mass. woman was ordered held on $500 cash bail for allegedly falsifying her identity on public documents after being stopped for driving while intoxicated — her alleged third offense.

Affidavits obtained from Jacqueline Taylor, 36, of 200 Arlington St. was driving along North Main St. at 12:36 a.m. yesterday when she was stopped by a patrol officer.

She allegedly told him her name was Mary-Ann Puopolo, gave a false Social Security number, and other information consistent with Puopolo who is her sister.

Using fingerprints, police were able to determine the woman who said she was Puopolo was really Taylor. Police said Puopolo was reached and provided Taylor's real birthday, address, phone number and car registration information.

Once police verified Taylor's information, they learned she had twice been convicted of driving while intoxicated in Massachusetts, once on April 11, 2010 and once on September 30, 2006.

Police also learned her license was currently under suspension for an arrest on April 7, 2013 for driving under the influence.

Taylor is charged with one misdemeanor count of filing a false report to law enforcement, one misdemeanor count of driving after revocation, one misdemeanor count of driving while intoxicated third offense, and one felony count of falsifying physical evidence for making false statements to a bail bondsman.

She has posted bail according to the Belknap County Department of Corrections website.

Last Updated on Thursday, 05 June 2014 12:52

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Community Action Program will serve free meals to Laconia students at 7 different locations this summer

LACONIA — 1,051 of the 1,837 students enrolled in the Laconia public schools this year qualified for the free and reduced-price lunch program, offered to those from households with incomes lower than 130 percent and 185 percent of the federal poverty level. At 57 percent, the proportion was exceeded only by Franklin at 60 percent and a half-dozen towns in the North Country.

In the summer, when school is out, many of these children are served by one of the two programs offered in the city — the Summer Food Service Program operated by the Community Action Program (CAP) of Belknap-Merrimack Counties, Inc. and Got Lunch!, a collaborative effort of more than 70 individuals, businesses and churches founded 2011.

Randy Emerson of CAP said that the Summer Food Service Program, which like the free and reduced lunch program during the school year is a food and nutrition initiative of the United States Department of Agriculture, has served children in the city for the past decade. Free breakfast and lunch are provided weekdays at six locations — Laconia High School, Laconia Middle School, Woodland Heights Elementary School, Pleasant Street Elementary School, Boys and Girls Club of the Lakes Region and Opechee Day Camp. Lunch only is provided at Blueberry Place.

"We partner with the School District and the Parks and Recreation Department," Emerson said. "We go where the kids are, the reading programs at the schools and the parks." He said that children receive brown bag breakfasts and lunches with a different balanced menu, including fruit and vegetables, each day.

The Got Lunch! program began in 2011, when it served 314 children in 154 families, and by 2013 had reached 556 children in 266 families. Rev. Paula Gile of the Congregational Church of Laconia said that before stating the program she and others met with officials of the School District and found that the need was greater than the Summer Food Service Program satisfies, since children are enrolled in summer educational programs students for short periods of time. Likening the Summer Food Service Program to school lunches, she said that "it is not a consistent source of food in the summer when children are only at school for short periods."

For families who register with the Got Lunch! program volunteers provide an assortment of groceries on Monday of each week. "It's enough for lunches for ten weeks," Gile said. Moreover, she stressed that no qualifications or proof of need are required for families to participate in the program.

"Laconia is a high need region," Emerson remarked.

The Summer Food Service Program will offer meals this summer according the the following schedule:

— Boys & Girls Club of the Lakes Region: Monday through Friday from June 23 through August 22. Breakfast from 8 to 9 and lunch from noon to 1.

— Laconia Middle School: Monday through Thursday from July 7 through August 8. Breakfast from 7:30 to 8:15 and lunch from 11:30 to noon.

— Pleasant Street School: Monday through Friday from June 30 through August 8. Breakfast from 8 to 9 and lunch from 11:30 to 12:30.

— Woodland Heights School: Monday through Thursday from July 14 through August 7. Breakfast from 8 to 8:30 and lunch. No lunch.

— Opechee Day Camp: Monday through Friday from June 23 through August 15. Breakfast from 8 to 8:30 and lunch from noon to 12:30.

— Laconia High School: Monday through Thursday from July 7 through August 8. Breakfast from 8 to 8:30 and lunch from noon to 12:30.

— Blueberry Place: Monday through Friday from June 23 through August 18. No breakfast. Lunch from 11:45 to 12:15.





Last Updated on Thursday, 05 June 2014 12:42

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